The horse you have at home is not the horse you will have at a ride. This little factoid is probably the most accurate piece of endurance information in my arsenal of bits and pieces of things a newbie should know. Why is it that at home you ride this lovely calm equine and at a ride it all blows apart and you are suddenly astride a fire breathing hopped up dragon? Or behaviorally things happen that you know your horse doesn't do at home? It is an interesting question to pose what is happening physiologically and psychologically to the horse in a ride environment. My last ride on Phebes here at home I was thinking how relaxing it was to ride her (can you BELIEVE those words came out me?). We moved forward, walked, we trotted, we cantered, we jumped up woodland creatures with nothing but a startle reaction. She drank at the creek, and munched grass when I asked her to. So what happens at a ride? Initially balking (no MOM! not THAT TRAIL, let's go back home, K?), but once hoof hits the trail she becomes this HUGE ANIMATED FIRE BREATHING DRAGON that I just happen to be sitting on. Lil Bit of Magic...becomes THE TERMINATOR. The horse that feels she must not only slay the trail, but thwart at every opportunity the passenger who dares to slow her down. Much wasted energy for all parties.
So at what juncture do you actually bring the horse from home, and then get to RIDE THE HORSE FROM HOME? Does it evolve over time with slow finishes? Does it ever evolve at all? ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association